A group of 22 cities and towns in southeastern Connecticut Wednesday called on Gov. Ned Lamont to issue a statewide mask mandate.
The Southeastern Connecticut Council of Governments (SCCOG) sent the governor a letter after holding a teleconference Wednesday morning to discuss municipal mask mandates.
In all, the chief elected officials from 20 of the 22 municipalities that make up the SCCOG, along with the directors of three regional health districts, representatives from the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and the Mohegan Tribe, and liaisons from the U.S. Naval Submarine Base and the Coast Guard Academy were all on the call.
"We thoroughly discussed the positive impact on health that an indoor mask-wearing mandate would have, but we also note the difficulty that individual towns would have in enforcing a mandate at the municipal level," said Fred Allyn III, mayor of Ledyard and SCCOG chairman in the letter to Lamont. "Because the transmission of COVID-19 does not stop at municipal borders or regional boundaries, we also worry that imposition of a mask mandate on a town-by-town basis would not be as impactful as a statewide mandate."
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The call lasted 90 minutes and concluded with the group of municipalities to issue recommendation strongly urging mask-wearing indoors, but conceded the SCCOG cannot require its member cities and towns to mandate mask-wearing.
The SCCOG also wrote the letter to Lamont, urging him to issue the statewide mandate.
"As municipal leaders, we urge you to use your office and authority to establish a statewide mandate, as opposed to a patchwork of municipal mandates," Allyn said.
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Max Reiss, director of communications for Gov. Lamont, released a statement regarding the SCCOG's request:
“There is currently an executive order mandating that all unvaccinated individuals wear masks while indoors and the CDC strongly recommends wearing masks in indoor settings, guidance that Governor Lamont and the Department of Public Health have urged individuals to follow. Getting and encouraging vaccinations against COVID-19 continues to be the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones against the virus, and the governor continues to urge all elected officials to pursue those efforts in their communities.”
The cities, towns, and boroughs that make up SCCOG are:
- East Lyme
- Groton City
- Groton Town
- Jewett City
- New London
- North Stonington
- Town of Stonington
- Borough of Stonington